House Panel Approves Immigration Tuition Bill

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Associated Press Release

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A measure that allows in-state college and university tuition rates for certain U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants is now moving through the Legislature.

House Speaker Will Weatherford promised in his opening day speech to back the legislation. And on Wednesday a House panel unanimously approved the bill.

The legislation comes months after a federal court decision invalidated state college and university rules that require higher tuition rates to Florida-residents who are U.S. citizens but dependent on illegal immigrant parents.

Past efforts to pass similar bills in the last decade, however, have failed. Last year one bill died on a tie vote in a Senate committee despite emotional testimony.

The measure passed this week also extends in-state tuition rates to veterans. An analysis estimates it could cost nearly $22 million.

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